Source: The Arizona Republic
On June 4, 2003 The Arizona Republic reported that "the mayor of Cave Creek [AZ] has practiced Buddhism for more than 15 years and brings his training to each town council meeting... His hands say a lot. During council meetings, it is not unusual to see them move into subtle mudra positions when he becomes distressed. The mudra are gestures of the hands that symbolize ritual elements... Francia, Jesuit trained, became interested in the Buddhist philosophy 30 years ago while serving in the Peace Corp in Paraguay. While he doesn't practice the religious aspects, he meditates daily to help him stay centered and true to the emphasis on kind thoughts, gentle words and compassionate actions."